Nature's fireworks: Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano began spewing ash and glowing rock on Christmas morning

Nature's fireworks: Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano began spewing ash and glowing rock on Christmas morning
Mexican authorities have issued an alert after the Popocatepetl volcano began spewing ash and gasses on Christmas Day.

The 17,797-foot volcano is located just 45 miles southeast of the capital Mexico City.

The country's disaster prevention agency on Wednesday issued a level two 'yellow volcanic alert' stemming from more than two hours of tremors and gas emissions from Popocatepetl.


The level 2 yellow alert is two phases below the red alert that triggers evacuation preparations.

The peak in San Nicholas de los Ranchos began discharging ash and 'incandescent material' just before 5am local time on Wednesday.

Some 25 million people live within about 60 miles of the mountain's crater.

Popocatepetl had been particularly active early this year, but calmed a bit until the most recent spate of activity in November.

A day after Thanksgiving, a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Mexico City was forced to turn around and return to the Netherlands due to volcanic acuity from Popocatepetl.

Back in March, an outburst at the crater hurled glowing rock down its slopes and sent ash shooting into the sky.

Popocatepetl has been erupting periodically since 1994, and a major outburst in 2000 forced the evacuation of nearly 50,000 residents in three states surrounding the peak.